2010 Vision: Engage Your Employees
ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES
Your staff members are artists by nature, yet
the day-in, day-out conveyor belt of clients
just wanting a âlittle off the topâ or âa few
highlights for Springâ can stifle creativity
over time. Some wise owners are learning
how to cultivate and celebrate that creativity,
while harnessing its power for some
great salon PR and marketing.
Every year, the 580 employees of the seven Charles Penzone Family of Salons and Spas (charlespenzone.com) gather together in Columbus, Ohio, for a few days of education, recognition and inspiration. When a fashion show of styles by the salonâs creative teams drew rave reviews at last yearâs special 40th anniversary celebration, owners Charles and Debra Penzone knew they were on to something big.
One of the many great creations from Project Penzone. (Photo credit: Jennifer Schaaf of JOJO Photography and Film)
After HABHA; the model, Habitude owner Inez Gray, winning stylist Lauren McThewson and salon director JJ Wrighton.
Engage your staff by helping them flex their creative muscles within the professional beauty industry. Look into the some of following competitive opportunities:
Matrix Mannequin Mania: Express your creativity and talent by styling a mannequin head however you choose. (Mannequinmania.com)
North American Hairstyling Awards: Each year, this beauty photography competition recognizes individuals in 13 categories of excellence during a star-studded awards ceremony. (Probeauty.org)
Sebastianâs Whatâs Next Awards: Create a unique and edgy look to support the current volume focus theme. Upload a photo of your creation and await your fame fate. (Whatsnextawards.com)
Stars Photo Competition: Create a collection and submit the photography to win a membership in Americaâs Beauty Network, your work in MODERN SALON and a cash prize. (americasbeautynetwork.com)
Trend Vision 2010: Choose your favorite trend from Wellaâs Trend Vision 2010 and interpret in your own way. Photograph a model, fi ll out an entry form and send it to well.com. Winners have the chance to represent the U.S. and compete in the International Trend Vision Awards in Paris. (wella.com)
This year, Debra and a team of her staff
worked with an event planner to ratchet up
that idea another notch. They conceived
âProject Penzone,â a runway beauty and
fashion competition inspired by Heidi
Klumâs hit show, Project Runway. Debra
sent kits to each of the Penzone salonsâ
one to the smaller salons and up to six at
the larger Grand Salons. Each kit included
a basic black dress, a wig and $25 dollars
for materials or supplies. Each of the salons
formed teams to work on the modelsâincorporating
the black dress into a fashion
look, while also designing the hair, makeup
âMost of salons developed their own themes,â says Debra. âFor example, there was a bird theme, a Vintage Victorian theme, an Alice in Wonderland theme, an Elvis theme and a Lady Gaga theme,â says Debra. âEveryone really got into itâeven the Call Center did a model.I heard stories about teams staying late at night to work on their models and practice. My phone has been ringing off the hook from salon managers telling me how the activity has pulled the teams together. Iâve even had calls from clients wanting to come to the show.â
While clients werenât invited this year, all the companyâs employees and their families were, as well as three outside judges who selected the winning salon. âI was amazed at the creativity, and it was a fun way to learn some of the hidden talents of our staff. These stylists arenât fashion designers, but I couldnât get over the creative things they did with those black dresses, the fi nished hair, make-up and nails. They could be on the runway in New York or Paris,â she says.
Because of interest, Debra is looking for ways to share the results with her client communities and is considering inviting them to next yearâs event. âWe had a professional photographer at the show and Iâm buying digital frames for all the salon locations so we can showcase the looksâ and weâve been posting the images on Facebook and Twitter.â
At Habitude Salon and Spas (habitude.com) in Seattle, Washington, Owner Inez Gray and Salon Director JJ Wrighton brainstormed ways to begin developing an artisitic team with the overall goal of competing one day in the North American Hairstyling Awards. This year to inspire creativity and promote team camaraderie, Habitude hosted their own version of NAHA, which they playfully titled the HABHA.
âWe kicked it off by doing a Power Point presentation of past NAHA winning images during a staff powwow to get the buzz happening and the juices fl owing,â says Gray. âWe cut out cool pictures and put them on a preliminary sign-up in the back room, then created an application form to make it official. When we started patting people on the back and encouraging them to get involved, mannequins began to appear in the backroom and downtime turned into creative brainstorming, color and updo sessions.â
Eighteen Habitude professionals, supported by the salonâs team of apprentices, threw their hats in the ring. Some approached the models, who were clients and friends, as a team and others went solo. Ross Taylor, one of the salonâs multi-talented senior stylists served as artistic director and did all the photography and retouching. âFor our newer stylists, this was educationalâthis is what NAHA is,â comments Gray. âFor our more senior stylists, I think it created two trains of thought, one was, âWow, this is possible, I could do this!âor âWow, this is harder than it looks!ââ
Habitude invited local celebrities to come and judge the runway style show, which Gray incorporated into a local Saturday Artwalk event, which included drinks, food, music, the images on-screen and a runway show. After the runway show, contestants joined their models on stage to answer questions about their designs. The winner, Lauren Mcthewson, won an all expenses paid trip to this yearâs NAHA.
âI am really proud of what JJ achieved in putting this all togetherâit was a fantastic way to win the admiration of the team and engage the stylists in a creative pursuit. It brought them all together and inspired us all,â says Gray. âItâs also been a terrific recruiting venue for usâhairdressers want to work in salons that are doing interesting and creative work.â
She warns: âOur artistic team is working together beautifully and learning a lotâwe just finished our first Signature Collection, âIngenuous.â Look out NAHA, here we come!â
More articles in this series, 2010 Vision: The New Rules of Engagement:
2010 Vision: Engage New Business
Engage Your Employees
Engage Your Conscience
Engage Through Marketing
Engage Your Social Media Networks
Engage Your Budget
Engage Through Accountability
Engage Without Compromise
Engage Our Future
Originally posted on Salon Today.